Saturday, July 28, 2012
A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea
A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea: The Race to Stop the BP Oil Gusher
A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea focuses on the post-blowout oil spill response (capping, top kill, top hat, etc.). In Fire on the Horizon, the rig didn't blow until page 200 or so. In this book, the rig blows up on page 30 and the well intervention lasts past page 200.
The writer has a background as a science writer for National Geographic. On the plus side, that means he has a firm understanding of things like measurement uncertainty, error bars, etc. On the downside, he has no technical background so there are some errors that are pretty blatant (for instance, he confuses erosion and corrosion, two completely different processes) that still make it into this edition.
Note that I picked up the post-Fukushima paperback copy. This book has been through at least 3 editions, from what I gather. That probably fixed a lot of earlier errors.
The writer has one soapboxy-bit: 'We now live in an engineered world and we'd better accept it.' Achenbach also probably managed to have carnal knowledge of his thesaurus as he wrote this book.
If you're interested in the well intervention (and only the well intervention) this is a great book, but the definitive Deepwater Horizon book has yet to be written. I'm waiting on David Hammer to write it...
Grover sings "A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea"